Arkansas VA hospital under review for not updating surgical equipment cleaning processes

The Veterans Health System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, Ark., failed to follow manufacturer updates regarding proper cleaning procedures for equipment used in eye surgery, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Hospital officials identified the lapse in device cleaning procedures Sept. 25. The hospital has not learned of any infections among patients related to the issue and is working to determine how long the outdated cleaning processes were used.

"[A] routine program inspection found that eye instrumentation had not been processed following the manufacturers correct instructions for use," said the hospital in a statement obtained by the Democrat Gazette. "Immediately, the facility implemented a pause in operations to implement standard operating procedures and rescheduled future appointments in accordance with manufacturer instructions."

The VA center issued requests to both the National Sterile Processing Officer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the department's Infectious Disease Office to review the case. Investigators will visit the facility Oct. 23 to assess the hospital's processing procedures and compliance.

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